Saturday, July 9, 2011


A sentence is a group of complete sense.

*A combination of words that makes a complete sense is called a sentence.—J. C. Nesfield.

*A group of words which makes a complete sense is called a sentence.—Wren & Martin.

Sentences may be divided into five classes, each of which may be further subdivided into two.
Affirmative: Affirming something.
Negative: Denying something.

a) Assertive sentences make a simple statement. Examples: I know him. I do not know him.
i) Subject + Verb + Object or Noun/Pronoun.
ii) Subject + Verb + not + Object/Complement.
iii) Subject + Auxiliary Verb + not + Principal Verb + Object/Complement.
iv) Subject + V + no/not a + Object/Complement.
v) Subject + do not/does not/did not + V + Object/Complement.
01. We are learning English with care.
02. The boy is not inattentive.
03. Our teacher are well-educated and well-experienced.
04. He does not play in the evening.
05.They did not do the work.

The Subject and The Predicate

Every sentence consists of two parts:
(a) The Subject is a word or group of words that denotes the person or thing about which something is said. It must be a noun or a noun equivalent and may consist of any number of words.

(b) The Predicate is a word or a group of words that denotes what is said about the subject. It must contain at least a finite verb expressed or understood.
My brother
is ill.
has gone.
His name
A clever boy
My father
is known.
will act thus.
is at home.

The subject is often understood in some sentences especially in imperative ones. Thus, Go there=go you there. Sit down=sit you down. In analysing such a sentence, the subject is to be supplied.

Phrases and Clauses

A Phrase is a group of words that dose not make complete senses, dose not contain a finite verb, expressed or understood , but is used as single part of speech.
Examples: Come at once. He come to see me. She was at the point of death.

A Clause is a group of words having a subject and a predicate of its own, but forming part of a sentence.

Examples: I know that he is ill. The boy whom you saw is my brother.

Parts of Speech

*The different kinds of words are called parts of speech.—J. C. Nesfield.

*Words are divided into different kinds or classes, called parts of speech, according to their use; that is, according to the work they do in the sentence.—Wren & martin.

Words are generally divided into eight classes or Parts of speech according to the work they do in a sentence.

01. Noun.
02. Pronoun.
03. Adjective.
04. Verb.
05. Adverb.
06. Preposition.
07. Conjunction.
08. Interjection.


A noun is a word which names any person or thing.

*A noun is a word used for naming some person or thing.—J. C. Nesfield.

*A noun is word used as the name of a person, place or thing.—Wren & Martin.

Nouns are of five different kinds:
           i. Concrete
     01. Proper.
     02. Common.
     03. Collective.
     04. Material.
           ii. Abstract
     05. Abstract.

**Note: Material Nouns are also called names of Materials.

i. A Concrete Noun is the name of an object of sense, that is an object which can be seen, touched. Heard, smelt or tasted.

ii. An abstract Noun is the name of a quality, action or state belonging to an object. Softness, smile, wealth etc.
Way of forming Abstract noun:
Abstract Nouns are chiefly derived from:
a) Nouns- infancy, slavery, kingship, kingdom, boyhood, fascism.
b) Verbs- service, protection, affection, attachment, refusal.
c) Adjectives (by adding ness, ce, ty, th, dom, etc.) goodness, holiness, justice, cruelty, length, wisdom, freedom. 

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

In Modern English Grammar Nouns are broadly divided into two Categories— (a) Countable Noun (b) Uncountable Noun. 

Countable Nouns:
Countable nouns are easy to recognize. They are things that we can count.
For example: "pen". We can count pens. We can have one, two, three or more pens. Here are some more countable nouns:
  • dog, cat, animal, man, person
  • coin, note, dollar
  • cup, plate, fork
  • table, chair, suitcase, bag
Countable nouns can be singular or plural:
  • My dog is playing.
  • My dogs are hungry.


*The relation in which a noun stands to some other word or the change of form by which this relation is indicated, is called its case.—J. C. Nesfield.

There are five cases in English- Nominative, Objective, Possessive, Dative and Vocative. But in modern Grammar Dative is included in Objective. Hence there are four cases in English.

Nominative, Objective, Possessive and Vocative.
01. When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the Subject of a Verb, it is said to be in the Nominative Case. Example: John threw a stone. [Who threw a stone? = John (subject)]

02. When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the Object of a verb, it is said to be in the Objective case. Example: John threw a stone. The horse kicked the boy. [What did John throw? = a stone (object). Whom did the horse kick? =a boy. (Object)]
**Note: To find the Nominative put who? Or what? Before the verb. To find the Objective put whom? Or what? Before the verb. The Nominative generally comes before the verb and the Objective after it.

03. The Possessive case denotes ownership or possession or relationship or authorship. The possessive answers the question- 'whose?'
This is ram's umbrella. (possession)
These are Shakespeare's plays. (authorship)
A mother's love is a noble thing. (relationship)
Vocative case is practically a nominative of address. Examples: Come here, Ram. Come on, boys.
**Note: The forms of nouns remain the same in the Nominative case, Objective case and Vocative case. But the form is changed only in the Possessive case.


In English there are two numbersSingular and plural. When one thing is spoken of, the noun is singular; but when more than one thing is spoken of, the noun is plural.

*When one person or thing is spoken of, the noun is singular and when more than one person or thng is spoken of, the noun is plural.—J. C. Nesfield.

**Rules for forming the plural:
a) Most nouns from their plural by adding‘s’ to the singular. Examples: Books, Pens.
b) Nouns ending, ss, sh, ch (soft) and x take es in the plural. Examples: lasses, bushes, benches, boxes.
But when ch is pronounced as k only s is added. Example: monarchs.
c) Nouns ending in y proceeded by a consonant change y into I and add es in the plural. Examples: Ladies, Cities. But if y is preceded by a vowel, add only s. examples: Boys, Plays.
d) Nouns ending in f or fe change f or fe into v after adding es. Examples: Life-lives, Calf-calves, knife-knives.
But noun ending in ief, ff, oof, rf, eef, generally take only s: chiefs, cliffs, proofs, dwarfs, dwarfs, reefs.


*What in nature is called the difference of sex of in grammar called the difference of Gender. --> J. C. Nesfield.

There are four kinds of Gender:
01.Nouns denoting male animals: Masculine
02.Nouns denoting female animals: Feminine
03. Nouns denoting animals of either sex: Common
04. Nouns denoting things without life: Neuter

A noun that denotes a male animal is said to be of the Masculine Gender.
Examples: Boy, Lion, Hero, Boy-friend.

A noun that denotes a female animal is said to be of the Feminine Gender.
Examples: Girl, Lioness, Heroine, Girl-friend.

A noun that denotes either a male or a female is said to be of the Common Gender.
Examples: Parent, child, baby, infant, friend, people, enemy, thief, servant, cousin, orphan, student, teacher, etc.

A noun that denotes things without life is said to be of Neuter Gender.
Examples: Book, pen, chair, gold, silver, iron, etc.


A pronoun is a word used for a noun or a clause.

*A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun or noun-equivalent. --> J. C. Nesfield.

Classification- Pronouns may be divided into the following eight classes:
a. Personal including possessive- I, thou, ye, you, he, she, hers, ours, etc.
b. Demonstrative- This, that, such, so, etc.
c. Relative- Who, which, what, as, whoever, whatever, whichever, etc.
d. Interrogative- Who, which, what.
e. Distributive- Each, either, neither.
f. Reflexive- Myself, thyself, himself, etc.
g. Indefinite- One, any, some, they, etc.
h. Reciprocal- Each, other, one another.

Personal pronouns are so called because they stand for persons:
a. The First Person which denotes the person or persons spoken: A, my, me, we, our, etc.
b. The Second Person which denotes the person or persons spoken to: You, thou, your, etc.
c. The Third Person which denotes the person or persons spoken of: He, she, it, they, their, etc.
1st Person
My, mine
Our, ours
2nd Person
Ye, you
Thy, thine
Your, yours
3rd Person
Her, hers
Their, theirs

The words this, that, these, such, so, the same one when used alone, are Demonstrative Pronouns. When used with nouns, they are Adjective.
The uses of this and that as pronouns:
a. When two nouns have been mentioned in a previous clause or sentence this refers to the latter and that to the former: Work and play are both necessary, this gives us rest and that (=work) gives energy. Dogs are more faithful than Cats, these (=Cats) attach themselves to places and those (=Dogs) to person.
b. They are often used for preceding nouns or clauses: This book is better than that (book) of Akon. I have read Latin, and that (I have read Latin) at Oxford. He went there and this (=the fact that he went there) proves his courage.

A Relative Pronoun not only refers to some nouns or pronouns previously mentioned but also joins two sentences. The principal Relative Pronouns are who which, that, what; as and but are also used as Relatives.
**NOTE: As a Relative Pronoun joins sentences, like conjunction, it is also called a conjunctive pronoun.
Use of relative Pronouns.
a. Who refers only to persons: I know the man who came here.
b. Which refers only to things, animals and children: This is the book which he brought. This is the dog which I saw. Which is also used for a preceding clause: He passed the examination, which (=the fact that he passed) pleased everybody.
c. That refers to pronoun, animals and things: This is the man or dog or book that I saw.
d. What refers only to things: there is a great difference of opinion about its proper nature.
01. According to some, its antecedent that is almost always understood: I know (that) what you say. (That) what you say is true.
02. Some call it a Condensed Relative or Antecedent Relative, I, e. a pronoun that unites in itself both the relative and the antecedent. According to them, there are no words understood in sentences like I mean what I say: What is done cannot be undone.
03. Some call it a Compound Relative because the antecedent is said to be contained in it, the word being equivalent to that which.
*But this is not correct, for the antecedent is sometimes expressed, either (a) in subsequent clause, or (b) immediately after the relative itself: What I tell you in darkness, that I spoke in the light. Take what help you can get. --> J. C. Nesfield.
a. No comma is generally placed before the Relative pronoun when it is used in the restrictive sense; but, when it is used in the continuative sense, it generally takes a comma before it.
b. A Defining or Restrictive clause may be distinguished from a Non-Defining or Continuative one by the fact that if the former is removed, the antecedent is left without any meaning or at best a wrong one: but the latter may always be detached from antecedent without disturbing the meaning of the main sentence.-Fowler
c. Another distinction is that who and which in the latter may be replaced by a conjunction and a pronoun.

An Interrogative Pronoun is a pronoun which asks a question. Examples: Who, which, what whose and whom.
Who are you? What do you want?
What do you want? Which is the house?
Interrogative Pronouns are also used to ask indirect questions: Tell me what you want. I asked who he was.
Difference in use:
a. Who is a applied to persons and is indefinite: Who goes there (I. e...........the person is not known)?
b. Which is applied to both persons and things, and refers to one out of group: Which of these books do you want?
c. What is applied to persons and things: What do you want? What is he?

01. Each, either and neither are called Distributive Pronouns, because they separate one person or things from a group.
Either and neither are always used of two persons or things, either means (i) one or the other; (ii) each of two; and neither-not either.
a. Either of you may go. Either will do.
b. Neither of them was present.
c. When more than two are spoken of, use any, no one, and none.
02. Each is used of any number, say two or fifty, Each of the two or ten boys was fined,
03. Distributive Pronouns take singular verbs and pronouns: Neither of them is ill, each of the girls has done her work.

Reflexive and Emphatic Pronouns are formed by adding self to my, your, him, her, it and selves to our, your, them: myself, herself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.
**NOTE: The word self may be used alone as a Noun or Adjective: To thane own self be true (Noun). He knows nothing but self (Noun). Self-help is the best help (Adj).
i. They are called Reflexive when the doer is both the subject and object of the action expressed by the verb: I hurt myself. He lost himself. They hurt themselves.
ii. They are Emphatic when used with nouns or pronouns for the sake of emphasis: "I myself saw the man" and " I saw the man himself" are more emphatic than "I saw the man."
iii. Sometimes the Emphatic pronoun is separated from the preceding noun or pronoun: He wants a pen for himself. I did it for myself.
**NOTE: Emphatic Pronouns can never stand alone as subject. Hence it is incorrect to write: "His brother and myself were present.” Myself will do it" But we can write “His brother and I myself went there". I myself will do it."

The Indefinite Pronoun does not point out any particular person or thing, like the Demonstrative, but refers to persons or things in a general manner. They are any, one, none, ought, naught, other, another, several, few, all, some, they.
a. Most of these are also used as adjectives, as any man can do it, some men came to me. I saw another boy.
b. One, body and thing are sometimes compounded with indefinite pronouns, which are then called Compound Indefinite Pronoun, as, anyone, nothing, anybody, etc. In any one, any is an adjective, and one is the numeral. Any one of them will do.
Any as a pronoun, is used only in interrogative and negative sentences. It may be both singular and plural, and may refer to both persons and things.
Have you seen any man (or men), or dog (or dogs) there? No, I have not seen any. I want a few chairs; can you give me any.
Some, as a pronoun, is plural and may be used for both person and things: Some say he will come. He has many books; some are sew, some old.

We use Reciprocal Pronouns in order to refer reciprocal relation.
01. The two boys hate each other.
02. They loved one another.
03. The brothers quarreled with each another.
04. They stood against one another.

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